Petrobras sells gas pipeline for $5.2B
Energy giant divestment plan to sell $15.1 billion in assets
By Ovunc Kutlu/Anadolu
Petroleumworld 04 29 2021
Petrobras is selling 90 percent of its shares in a natural gas pipeline network for $5.2 billion to NTS, a group led by Canadian asset management giant Brookfield, the Brazilian state-owned energy giant said Friday.
The 2,048-kilometer (1,273-mile) long Nova Transportadora do Sudeste (NTS) pipeline system carries gas to industrialized and populous regions in Brazil, including Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais.
The sale was approved by Petrobras' board but has to wait to be approved by shareholders and Brazilian regulators.
The first payment of $4.34 billion, or 84 percent of the total transaction, will be paid when the deal is complete, while the remaining $850 million will be paid in five years, according to Petrobras.
The asset sale could be a life-saver for Petrobras that is struggling not unlike other energy firms around the world in an environment of low crude and natural gas prices. The Brazilian giant is also at the center of a major corruption scandal and is trying to survive the worst downturn in the Brazilian economy in decades.
Petrobras already has a divestment plan to sell $15.1 billion worth of assets during the 2015-2016 fiscal year, and another $19.5 billion in the next two years.
Brookfield manages more than $200 billion in energy and infrastructure assets and has a portfolio that includes companies with more than 14,000 kilometers (7,000 miles) combined of pipelines in the U.S., Canada and Australia.
"This is a unique opportunity to invest in a large-scale, high quality utility business and participate over time in Brazil's growing gas industry," Sam Pollock, Chief Executive Officer of Brookfield Infrastructure, said in a company statement.
"Petrobras, as a 10 percent owner in NTS, will have customary governance rights," according to Brookfield statement.
Other partners in the group of buyers include Chinese CIC Capital Corporation and GIC Private Limited (GIC) and Singapore's GIC Private Limited.